Harrogate man jailed over terrifying Knaresborough robbery

Jonathan Bennett. Picture: North Yorkshire Police (s)
Jonathan Bennett. Picture: North Yorkshire Police (s)

A man from Harrogate has become the fifth person jailed for being involved in a robbery at a house in Knaresborough.

Jonathan Bennett, 24, was sentenced to 13 years and six months in jail at Bradford Crown Court on Tuesday, November 29 after being found guilty by jury on September 29 of conspiracy to rob.

Bennett is already serving a prison sentence of 32 months handed down last month for conspiracy to commit burglary following a burglary in Fewston in November 2014.

His four accomplices involved in the robbery, all from Leeds, were sentenced on September 30, and include Joel Richard Hutchinson, 30, and Lewis Jordan Walker, 29, who were both sentenced to 13 years and seven months imprisonment, Jason Henriques 25, and Shelby Bruce, 24, who were both sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.

Hutchinson and Walker had pleaded guilty at the start of the trial on Tuesday, September 20.

Bruce was given an additional year in prison after punching a co-defendant in court and Walker received an extra four months for spitting at another gang member during the proceedings.

Bennett was one of the organisers of the robbery which left a man with serious stab wounds.

On the night of May 14, 2015, three men – Walker, Bruce and Henriques - entered a house on Lands Lane, Knaresborough by throwing a boulder through a downstairs window.

They confronted and attacked the home owners – a man in his forties and a woman in her thirties –who were upstairs, and demanded they handed over jewellery.

The man fought back and was stabbed in his leg, arm, face and hand, suffering deep cuts which needed extensive hospital treatment.

They also grabbed his wife by the hair and threatened her before fleeing the house with a substantial amount of jewellery.

Following an extensive police investigation which involved protracted analysis of mobile phones, Automatic Number Plate Recognition images and CCTV, the five offenders were arrested in the months following the robbery.

Speaking after Bennett’s sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Dave Ellis, said: “Bennett’s imprisonment brings the legal proceedings to a conclusion in this shocking case and I sincerely hope that it brings some kind of closure for the victims who were left terrified by these vicious and violent men.

"I also hope the residents of Knaresborough are reassured that the men who brought terror to their neighbourhood are now behind bars for a very long time.”

Judge Bartfield previously commended the victims for their bravery, and the investigation team for their professionalism, noting the key role played by modern technology in tracking the defendants.

Bennett’s sentencing brings the total imprisonment for all defendants to more than 73 years.